Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Emotions in Games, part 2: Sorrow

Sorrow is a profoundly deep and negative emotion, and is not casually experienced.  Sorrow is our natural reaction to the experience of loss; our recognition that something we cared about will not be part of our future.  Sorrow is also brought about in many cases by our own suffering and that of others, particularly when we feel that suffering will continue – that is, when we lose hope and start to feel despair.

Like Fear, we’re dealing here with an emotion that’s experienced by the percipient – the reader/viewer/player of whatever medium is being experienced – and not by the characters in that medium.  How, then, can percipients be made to feel sorrow?  I’ll approach the subject by dealing separately with suffering and loss, and then I’ll briefly address how sorrow can be part of PvP experiences. Continue reading

Namárië Endórë!

The only real way we have to meaningfully communicate our feelings with game developers is generally with our wallets.  After long deliberation, I used that simple economic vote to express my feelings about LotRO by canceling both accounts today.

I like a lot of the ideas presented for SoM, especially the skirmish system, which sounds like it could be a lot of fun.  I just haven’t had an interest in playing for the last month and a half though, and I don’t see that changing.  Fundamentally, I remain unhappy with the concept of gear gating (which remains part of the new plan from all I can see; no word to the contrary has been issued), with the disposable legendary items system (which is changing, but is not apparently going to result in less disposable and frankly non-legendary “legendary” items), and with the shoddy state of high level crafting (which used to be both fun and useful, but with the Moria expansion became neither to me; there are some nice recipes but less so than before and they take a LOT more work to get).  The faction grinds are pretty interminable, and I don’t relish getting the Elves of Mirkwood to love even one of my characters, much less several or all.  And finally, as I noted before, the people I played with have changed their approach to the game because of the way the game itself has changed, and now our playstyles don’t mesh very well.

It’s National Novel Writing Month, which I’m 3 days into now with a lot of work ahead of me still.  Dragon Age: Origins is coming out (which I want to play through, and also build modules for), and I still have a lot of fun left to enjoy in Torchlight from the looks of it.  I have a 6- month Champions Online sub and am watching to see how that game develops… I haven’t played it in a while either but might give it another try once they add some more content.  Between all of that and my social life I have more than enough to keep me busy through the end of the year, and though LotRO still has some appeal, it just isn’t enough to motivate me to log in to LotRO anymore.  Perhaps I’ll come back to Middle-earth yet again, perhaps not, but for now I’m wishing it a fond farewell.

Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,
yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!
Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier
mi oromardi lissë-miruvóreva
Andúnë pella, Vardo tellumar
nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni
ómaryo airetári-lírinen.

Sí man i yulma nin enquantuva?

An sí Tintallë Varda Oiolossëo
ve fanyar máryat Elentári ortanë
ar ilyë tier undulávë lumbulë
ar sindanóriello caita mornië
i falmalinnar imbë met,
ar hísië untúpa Calaciryo míri oialë.
Sí vanwa ná, Rómello vanwa, Valimar!
Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar!
Nai elyë hiruva! Namárië!

Ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind,
long years numberless as the wings of trees!
The long years have passed like swift draughts
of the sweet mead in lofty halls
beyond the West, beneath the blue vaults of Varda
wherein the stars tremble
in the song of her voice, holy and queenly.

Who now shall refill the cup for me?

For now the Kindler, Varda, the Queen of the stars,
from Mount Everwhite has uplifted her hands like clouds
and all paths are drowned deep in shadow;
and out of a grey country darkness lies
on the foaming waves between us,
and mist covers the jewels of Calacirya for ever.
Now lost, lost to those of the East is Valimar!
Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valimar!
Maybe even thou shalt find it! Farewell!